According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of Americans live in nursing homes. Residents in these populations are at a higher risk of infection due to their age and health. Plus, the routine use of antibiotics causes infections in nursing homes to become resistant to treatment.
The nursing homes owe patients a general and medical duty of care. If your family member contracted an infection, it is a sign of nursing home abuse or neglect. There are other signs to help you recognize if it is happening to your loved one.
Infections in Nursing Homes Are a Serious Problem
Due to the number of germs and bacteria that are living in long-term care facilities, infections in nursing homes are a severe problem. Managers and staff members must keep your family member safe and the entire home sanitary.
If not, your family member could contract one of the following common infections, some of which are communicable:
- Pneumonia: Pneumonia is a severe respiratory infection that can become deadly. It is a leading cause of all nursing home hospitalizations.
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs): Patients who frequently urinate or have indwelling catheters need extra care to prevent an infection. UTIs are also a sign of nursing home abuse and neglect.
- Flu: Although the flu is manageable, this assertion does not mean that it is okay for your family member to get one. Influenza is a devastating infection for older adults to have.
- Coronavirus: Older adults are severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. If the hospital is not protecting him or her from contracting it, it is a sign of a much bigger problem, such as inadequate management or poor staff training.
- Skin infections: Older skin is more delicate than younger skin. Exposure to pathogens through open wounds, like bedsores, indicates that your loved one is not receiving proper care.
- Diarrhetic diseases: When an infection enters the digestive system, it can result in severe problems for your loved one. He or she also needs adequate nutrition and water to prevent diarrhetic diseases or infections.
Given that the patient mortality rate for mild infections is high, nursing homes must take care of your loved one. Failing to do so is a breach in their general and medical duty of care, which means that you can pursue financial compensation for his or her financial and future harm.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-712-9119
Other Obvious Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect may not seem obvious. Some family members and caregivers do not take complaints seriously. Do not allow this situation to happen to your loved one.
If he or she is complaining about ill-treatment, look into it. Avoid writing it off as cognitive decline. The worst-case scenario is that you find out he or she is wrong. At best, you may uncover inhumane treatment against him or her.
It happens all too often in the form of:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Medical neglect
- Medical malpractice
- Sexual assault
- Financial exploitation
- Healthcare fraud
- And more
It is no surprise to discover that caring for an older adult is tough. They have many needs and are frequently dependent on others to help them through life. Due to these demands, abusive, poorly trained staff members can lash out and injure your family member.
There Is Never a Reason for Nursing Homes to Engage in Neglect or Abuse
One of the reasons that family members send older adults to nursing homes is due to the time it takes to care for him or her. He or she has specific needs that a nursing home promises that it will meet, including the provision of a safe, healthy environment.
Caregivers, managers, staff members, and contractors should never commit a single act of abuse or negligence against your family member. However, there are telling characteristics that illustrate why their behavior gets to that level.
A few risk factors that make staff members more prone to abuse include:
- Poor mental health
- Dislike for the job
- Poor stress coping skills
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- No managerial support
- Money problems
- Improper training
- Character defects
Nursing home staffers and managers alike must do everything they can to prevent your loved one from receiving an injury, even if he or she is known for being “difficult.” It is their responsibility to care for and protect him or her no matter what. Anything less than that is just negligent.
Get Help from a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer
In nearly every instance, your loved one should not have had an infection. Nor should he or she ever suffer at the hands of nursing home abuse or neglect.
If infections in nursing homes injured your family member, call Ben Crump Law, PLLC for a free consultation now at 800-959-1444 to get the help you want.